Larry Burton (Panama City Beach, Fla.) The NFL draft usually shows where talent lies in the NCAA. It is strictly a case of rich teams putting their money where the mouths say the talent is.
With Oklahoma landing three of the top five recruits and the most players of any school to go in the first round of the draft, it begs a very important question.
Was Oklahoma all talent and no team?
Sooner fans will point to the loss of Sam Bradford and say that's the reason for the disappointing season, but with all this talent, does that really explain an 8-5 season and not even finishing in the top 25?
Does anybody seriously think that Alabama would have lost five games had they lost Greg McElroy, who was, by the way, a first-year starter?
There was a long stretch where Tennessee put more talent in the NFL than any other school, but had the least trophies to show for it all. There was one lucky season that Tennessee was able win just one BCS title.
Obviously, talent does not always equate to trophies, though it sure doesn't hurt.
Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant used to say he'd take a great team any day, over a team with just great talent.
In trying to explain this, he said the coach's job was to get the whole team to play with one heartbeat. Some boys you'd have to speed up, some to slow down, but once you got them all together as a team with one heartbeat, you had a winner.
Is this a lesson that somehow Oklahoma's Bob Stoops is forgetting?
If you accept the premise that OU lost five games because Sam Bradford went down, then you have to accept the fact that the Sooners were just an average team as a whole, despite the remaining NFL talent there.
You have to accept the fact that they weren't a team—they were the Sam Bradford supporting cast.
Boise State has a string of good teams in the past few years, but had no one drafted from their team last year and only one was taken this year in the first round. Is this a case of team over talent?
Certainly, finding the right mix is essential, but clearly Bob Stoops has lost sight of it in Oklahoma.
Just something to think about as this year's draft is concluded and next year's campaigns begin.
Larry Burton is a writer living in Panama City Beach, Fl.